Monday, February 7, 2011

ArmA 2 Operation Arrowhead British Armed Forces - Checkpoint Repels Insurgent Attack With .50 Cals

The game: ArmA 2 Operation Arrowhead British Armed Forces
The situation: a patrol section (+) manning an unfinished checkpoint is caught by surprise by insurgent forces.
The topic: in open terrain the .50 cal is king. Hone your HMG techniques of fire, lads!

The engineers came, built a half-assed checkpoint and left with the promise of finishing it up the following day. Checkpoint North was born out of wire, earthen parapets, small sandbagged bunkers and the willingness of the British soldier to do whatever it takes to accomplish a mission. Our command post/living quarters was a nice change, though. We have been sleeping near our Jackals for quite a while and having a roof over our heads was a welcomed change in the routine.

The entrance to checkpoint North.
Rush hour at checkpoint North. The line is a whooping 10 cars long.

The search area of checkpoint North. We didn't even have the proper search tools. 

Panoramic view of the checkpoint. In the distance, cars wait to enter towards the search area. The whole checkpoint is surrounded by a perimeter of concertina of approximately 500 meters. More visible in the image, the wire was also laid out at each side of the road.

On the right side of the road, we placed a Jackal in a firing position overlooking the main approach to the checkpoint. The command post/living quarters can be seen on the left.

Same thing on the left side of the road.
The reasons why we ended manning checkpoint North with so few assets are hard to justify. Our patrols platoon was conducting presence patrols in the area when the order to set up a checkpoint came in. Our CO decided not to interrupt such patrols because he got HUMINT about "something out of place with the insurgents cell phone traffic". We ended up at checkpoint North with just three Jackals (three teams or a reinforced section). A platoon should not be split when the enemy is in the bushes ... This is true since the time of the Boer Wars.

It was while following a HUMINT tip at a village south of the checkpoint when the distant sound of an IED and the ensuing frantic radio calls reached my 5 men team. We jumped in our Jackal and rushed towards the checkpoint trying to sort out what was going on.

The smoke and fire in the distant checkpoint ... Nothing good is coming out of this thing.
As we approached the chekcpoint, we could see the smoking trails of SPG-9 recoilless guns fired at the two Jackals that were already in position. There was only two vehicle fighting pits at the checkpoint and we needed a hull down position immediately. The Jackal is moderately tall, and hard to "hull down". Out of desperation I drove our vehicle behind the cover of the command post.

Hull down, but with an exposed gunner. Such is the life of the lightly armored vehicle crews.
The view from our vehicle. In the distance, insurgents pour out of an assortment of vehicles.

The AI does a moderately good job shooting the L111A1, but I eventually I had to man the thing. Note the sandbags of the roof of the command post.
Mayhem. In the crosshairs, a vehicle mounted SPG-9 I just engaged with the .50 cal. In real life, any soldier worth of his profession would have the ranges already figured out. He would even planted stakes to mark those ranges. In this scenario, I just fired in a Z pattern until I hit the bloody insurgents. The optics of the L111A1 really paid off.
We have been lucky. The insurgents approached over open terrain and our fields of fire were wide and deep. We lost two men and a Jackal to the enemy's SPG-9s. The checkpoint held without using a single AT weapon.

We eventually abandoned the relative safety of the checkpoint and moved up the road to clear it. In this image, the Jackal covers us with the .50 cal. 

Never underestimate the power of the .50 cal.



Anonymous said...

Really interesting.

Did you create this mission? Is in ARMA?

Thanks for taking the time to prepare this material.


smith said...

I agree - these are much appreciated!

Jerry said...

Nice work. Got me to finally load up Arma 2 on my new pc. :)

The first mission it generated for me was to be a foot patrol as German SF after a helo insert. Something went awry at the LZ though and a team member was dead on the ground as soon as we touched down.

JC said...

Thanks for your comments, guys.


Custom mission. I am porting it from a mission I was editing in VBS JCOVE. Trying to finish it to a decent state.


Meh! It happens! DoA. I bet this has something to do with collision modeling and such.


Jomni said...

I just got ARMA2. Any good resources on mission creation?